Charity Evening: Les Toiles Enchantées

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Les Toiles Enchantées

Since 1997, the organization, created by Gisèle Tsobanian, and whose ambassador is Lambert Wilson, has been putting together screenings for young hospitalized and disabled children to give them a chance to watch films on a big screen, in proper conditions, at their time of release in in theatres.
With the support of the medical profession, the organization:
• Enables access to culture and entertainment for hospitalized children;
• Breaks their harsh routine;
• Helps them fight their disease and gives them strength.
It also gives children a much-needed sense of freedom and a chance to escape from their world for a few hours.
In 2014, 35 films were shown by the organisation over 350 screenings, allowing close to 21,000 children to watch movies in 140 partner establishments. Les Toiles Enchantées receives the support of many actors, partners and movie professionals.

Editorial by Gisèle Tsobanian, founder and director of the Association

Seventeen years ago, an event changed my life. A ball rolled to my feet, under my desk. It bore the title of a movie, Little Indian, Big City. At the time, I was a production assistant and this quirky little film was having the success every movie dreams of having.

I decided to talk to the producers and distributors at Pathé so that they would help me reach my first goal: organize a screening of the movie in real cinema conditions, on a giant screen, with a projector and a 35mmversion of the film in three children hospitals.

The idea was simple!

While thousands of youngsters go to the cinema, many hospitalized or disabled children and teenagers do not have access to that form of evasion. After this magical success, there were a few more obstacles to overcome!

We had to find and convince partners to join us in this adventure, find and adapt a specific projector, learn how to install a ton of equipment for each screening, contact distributors… Because I hoped to reach another goal: I wanted the movies we screened
to be recent releases so that children could share their experience with friends and families and get a little closer to a normal life by taking them out of their solitude.

The movie industry, including distributors, producers, directors and actors jumped right in. Our team came together and the organization was born in 1997. The screenings started with a projector, a big screen and a second film to show, On Guard by Philippe de Broca. Since then, we have been going around France to offer young sick or disabled children movie screenings in their hospitals. Meeting rooms and dining halls are transformed into cinemas. Our young movie-goers then arrange their treatment schedule to attend the screenings.

The ball has since been bouncing around 140 medical establishments, reaching 21,000 children every year, all around France. It dribbles through offices, spreads onto walls, it flies into the hearts of children, it makes dreams come to life when actors appear “in the flesh” to tell some stories from the set… Today, with our second action “Ateliers Cinéma”, directors visit hospitals to work with children to make short films…

We dream of a Grand Slam, that Les Toiles Enchantées never ceases to screen films that bring out shining smiles and allow tens of thousands of children a chance to dream and fall in love with cinema.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your precious support.

Gisèle Tsobanian